Riding Bitch

The daily musings of a writer.

Hiatus No More


Hello? Anybody out there? It’s me, Niva.

It’s been seven months since my last blog post. A very dramatic seven months, indeed. I moved from the rural area I once lived in to a small town; I started a second PT job, buried my father’s ashes, and have become more involved in local issues and politics.

And I still haven’t been writing.

Some of my new friends don’t even know I am a writer. Many don’t know about the situation that brought me to upstate NY in the first place, the loss and trauma that proceeded that move. I don’t go around talking about it, so why would anyone know unless they ask? Even when they do ask, I tend to answer in vague terms.

I told myself that I’m on a writing hiatus because I need to “live life” for a little while, which is all well and good… except what the hell is the point of life if I’m not writing? That’s what I do. And I miss it.

There have been signs here and there that I need to get back to it. Take, for instance, this conversation I had with a woman – let’s call her J – around the beginning of the year.

We were engaged in a business meeting when J unexpectedly said, “Do you mind if I share something personal with you? I know we just met, and I don’t usually do this, but I read some of your writing online and feel like you would understand.”

“Go ahead,” I told her.

“I haven’t even told some of my closest friends… but my husband was recently diagnosed with Stage IV ___ cancer.”

“I’m sorry to hear that,” I said quietly, trying to keep pity out of my voice.

“Can I ask you some questions? I don’t know who else to talk to,” she said.

Of course, ask away, I told her.

She proceeded to ask me numerous questions about Kaz… how had I handled the news of his diagnosis, how involved was I with his care,  what was his mood like, how had I kept him motivated, how long did he fight it, when did he start to accept the inevitable, when did I accept the inevitable, was I there when he died, what was that moment like, how had the whole experience affected my life, how long did it take for things to feel “normal” again… and more.

As I answered all her questions, in the back of my mind I was thinking, you are who I’m writing my book for. In fact, I wished I could have just handed her my book and said, “Read this. All the answers are inside.”

Answering her questions brought me back to memories and moments that I hadn’t thought about it a long time. It took some effort to recall them without getting emotional, and I didn’t want to get emotional because it wasn’t about me, it was about her (I was relieved that she didn’t get emotional either).

Her expression was actually one of wonder, and intense listening. She was clearly hungry for information, which made my heart ache. I remember being in her shoes, painfully curious about what the future held,  desperate to speak to someone who could illuminate all the dark corners, hungry for answers in what was a perpetual state of not knowing.

I left our meeting feeling raw and somewhat drained, and sad for what this couple was going through, but also inspired. I told myself that when I returned to writing, I would keep this woman in my thoughts… and write to her.

It also occurred to me that maybe I haven’t been writing lately because I don’t want to “go back” there anymore. I wanted to focus on the present and the future, and take a break from the past.

Then the other day I met another woman who had left New York City several years ago to be her mother’s caregiver… her mother had had the same type of brain tumor as Kaz and succumbed to it nine months after diagnosis.

When we discovered this huge thing in common, it was like a light went off behind both of our eyes. We hardly knew each other, and yet we instantly knew so very much about one another. As she put it, it’s rare to meet another person who has witnessed, and been intimately  involved with, the slow decline of a loved one, especially to an illness that affects the neurological system.

“People need to hear your story,” she told me. “Why did you stop writing?”

I explained to her my theory about wanting to live life and not keep going back to the past, but even as I said the words, I knew the hiatus was over.

Another impetus has been the election.

There is so much divisiveness and negativity in the non-stop news cycle these days, and so little empathy and compassion for one another, even less so for the marginalized. I find myself wondering about all the aspects of life that transcend politics, rhetoric and differences. Where are the voices that will bring us together? And what can I do personally to make a difference?

Well, this is it. I have thought about this blog so much, about you the readers, and my fellow bloggers. And I’m here to say that the bitch is back.

Looking forward to catching up with you.








Author: nivaladiva

Freelance writer and independent filmmaker.

26 thoughts on “Hiatus No More

  1. Wonderful. So glad you are finding your way back to the page. It’s hard and heartbreaking work, but there’s no running away from it, is there?

  2. Not sure what to say… Thank you for sharing and thank you being open about your life. I appreciate your strong words, do write more. I am here if you need to talk things through.

    • Hi Alon, thanks for reading. I don’t expect people to respond to my posts unless they want to, so if you don’t know what to say it’s okay. 🙂

      I do appreciate the offer to talk… people often are afraid to talk about deep stuff, which is why I blog about it.


    love you!!

    xo Meg

  4. A break is often exactly what we need most.

  5. You are inspiring me, I’ve been on a writing break as well and thinking it is time to get back in and start working.

  6. A hundred thumbs up. You have such a clear way of conveying complicated things. Can’t tell you how much I appreciate reading this. Thanks for bringing the bitch back!

  7. You’ve stopped, I started. I have no idea what I’m doing so I stopped writing and now you started. Glad the writer is back. 😊

  8. Niva, you’re a writer and I look forward to what you create. In April, my son and his love are moving from San Francisco to the family land where I live in the Finger Lakes. This son has always wanted to live here and they’re making it happen. An opportunity for new stories about something other than grief. We shall see.

    • Oh, that is wonderful news, Elaine! I have found it such a comfort to live closer to my family… which, in my case, is my siblings, their spouses and children. I see them so much more often than I used to when living across the country, and it’s wonderful. I’m thrilled for you… and look forward to your new stories as well. xo

  9. From one broken open heart to another– we CAN and MUST tell our stories, not just for our loved ones that have passed, but our SELVES and then, for those who would find respite in our experience and our words. You are a bright light and the flow is brimming in you– i could tell on Thursday night! Keep that fire burning and just let me know when you want or need some kindling.

    • Thank you so much Jenn! Remembering who we’re writing for is key, isn’t it? It’s not just about us. Hope to see you soon, and thanks again for reading the blog.

  10. Hello Niva, it is good to “see” you again. I wish you success as your return to writing as I know that we will all benefit from it.
    The election has taken it’s toll on so many of us, and sadly, many more will continue to be affected by it. My photography / creativity has really suffered.
    After serving in an local elected position in the past and losing a state election in 2015, I’ve now thown myself into helping women get involved in politics. Of course, the March in DC was one of the greatest experiences of my life.
    How to stay positive is the challenge.
    I’ll look forward to hearing more about your activism and your writing

    • Hi LB!!! So good to hear from you. I’ve missed you!
      Yes, the election has been devastating, but also motivating. I’m sorry to hear your photography has suffered… are you looking for ways to get “reignited”?
      I was at the march in DC too! Amazing experience… for me, it was a last minute decision to drive from upstate NY to DC and I’m so glad I did.
      I love that you’re helping women get involved in politics and want to hear more about that!
      How to stay positive… might be a future blog post. 🙂
      Look forward to reading up on you too.

  11. Nice to see you back around the blogs. I hope that you are back enjoying life over there, despite all the election rumpus!
    My best wishes from England, to one of my oldest blogging friends. Pete.

    • Thanks, Pete! Yes, I’m managing to enjoy life and stay positive, the latter challenging to say the least. I’m happy to see your blog doing so well. Hope you’re doing well too. xo

      • A better year than 2016, that’s for sure. As I turned 65 in March, I resolved to become positive, after so long of seeing the downside of life. So far, so good! x

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